Why Your Client Should Focus on Small Data

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Is the obsession with big data over yet? Who can blame your clients for asking themselves that question? Marketers are driving themselves crazy trying to keep up with the latest tech trends. And all too often, they’re forgetting the most important element in the big data mix: their customers.

The Bringing a Human Voice to Customer Choice study, from the CMO Council and Harte Hanks, asked over 150 marketers about the problems they’re having when it comes to hearing their customers. It’s easy to get overly-​focused on the goal of a campaign. In fact, 41% of marketers say it’s hard to remember that they should be concentrating on building relationships with customers.

Your Clients' Aspirations

If only they could be like leading brands. Whether you realize it or not, your clients aspire to be like Apple or Amazon. Marketers believe these leading brands have two differentiators. And they’d like to possess these differentiators as well. They’d like to:

  • Have each customer feel like a valued "friend or confidante"
  • Have each interaction "reflect the customers’ needs" in a way that differentiates the brand

The Challenges They Face

Your clients know the voice of the customer is out there. They possess customer communications through email (69%), social media (58%) and satisfaction surveys (52%). Then, there are the devotees who contribute user-​generated content.

Each one of these communications serves as a piece of small data. When marketers pull these small pieces together, they can see a clear picture of each customer. Here’s where meaningful interaction can and should occur. This task isn't easy. Only 39% of marketers say they’re fairly good, 4% call themselves exceptional and 33% say they’re ‘just okay.’

Their Success Strategy

To improve their one-​on-​one customer contact, 23% of marketers plan to deploy chatbots, cognitive advisers or live interactive assistants. But they’ll need to do more. Harte Hanks analysts encourage marketers to start the process by using Google analytics to track buyer journeys. Your clients should also be tracking email interactions with each buyer. As Harte Hanks analysts suggest, your clients must look beyond simple CTRs. Check out which options a buyer responded to. Was it an offer for free shipping or did they seem to prefer 20% off the price of a frequently purchased product?

Once your clients categorize their email campaigns by type and track responses, they'll be able to personalize promotions and customer interactions in a meaningful way. You can talk with them about the kinds of consumers who engage with specific types of email campaigns by checking the AudienceSCAN reports available on AdMall from SalesFuel​.com.

We can’t do away with big data, but you can help your clients break down the information down into small actionable data to help them reconnect with their customers. 

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.